Yesterday I had the good fortune to speak with Miriam Posner, Scott Weingart and Thomas Padilla about their experiences teaching digital humanities students about network visualization, analysis and representation. This started as an off the cuff tweet about teaching Gephi, which led to an appointment to chat, and then to a really wonderful broader discussion about approaches to teaching networks:
Scott suggested that other folks who teach this stuff in a digital humanities context might be interested as well so we decided to record it, and share it online (see below).
The conversation includes some discussion of tools (such as Gephi, Cytoscape, NodeXL, Google Fusion Tables, DataBasic, R) but also some really neat exercises for learning about networks with yarn, balls, short stories and more.
A particular fun part of discussion focuses on approaches to teaching graph measurement and analytics as well as humanistic approaches to graph visualization that emphasize discovery and generative creativity.
During the email exchange that led up to our chat Miriam, Scott and Thomas shared some of their materials which you may find useful in your own teaching/learning:
- Network Analysis: Miriam’s three part video lecture from UCLA’s Introduction to Digital Humanities.
- Network Analysis: An Introduction: Thomas’ slides from his class at HILT in 2016.
- Introduction to Network Analysis: Thomas’ online tutorial for visualizing, measuring and describing networks using Cytoscape.
- Introduction to Network Analysis and Representation: Scott and Elijah Meeks’ interactive tool for visualizing network analysis principles.
I’m going to be doing some hands-on exercises about social media, networks and big data in Matt Kirschenbaum‘s Digital Studies class this Spring – and I was really grateful for Miriam, Scott and Thomas’ willingness to share their experiences with me.
Anyhow, here’s the video! If you want to get to the good stuff skip to 8:40 where I stop selfishly talking about the classes were teaching at MITH.
PS. this post was brought to you by the letter B since (as you will see) Thomas thinks that blogs are sooooo late 2000s :-) I suspect he is right, but I’m clearly still tightly clutching onto my vast media empire.